Al Zakrzewski Collection

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Allan G. Zakrzewski (Al) was born in 1954 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the oldest of four children born to Mary Ann and Gilbert Zakrzewski. Al graduated second in his class from Pulaski High School and worked at a local McDonald’s restaurant to put himself through college earning a Master of Science Degree in Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Al’s love for WWI aviation began when he started playing the Milton Bradley game Dogfight as a young child. He collected plastic airplane models made by Aurora and continued collecting these rare models whenever he came across them. As his interest grew, Al expanded his collection to include Sanke cards, photos, prints and any publication pertaining to WWI aviation. During the last 15 years of his life, he started purchasing rare aviation medals, ribbons and decorations. His medal collection ranged from pilot’s wings to decorations earned by pilots from all countries during WWI. Al always dreamed of including an original Blue Max in his collection, but purchased high quality imitations instead.

Al was a member of Cross and Cockade International and Orders and Medals Society of America. He was also a Charter member of The League of World War One Aviation Historians and an active member in the affiliated Houston Gulf Coast Chapter. In 2001 he became an editor for Over the Front quarterly magazine. While a member of the Gulf Cost Chapter of the League of WWI Aviation Historians Al’s contributions earned him the Thornton D. Hooper Award for Excellence for his article on "Monoplane Fighters of World War I." In 2007, he received his second Thornton D. Hooper Award for "An Evening with Rodney Williams, 17th Aero Squadron."


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